Josh Warrington had trouble in spots tonight against Hisashi Amagasa, but ultimately came away with his undefeated record intact and a potential world title shot still in line after a unanimous decision victory in his hometown of Leeds, England.
Warrington (23-0, 4 KO) won on scores of 117-111, 118-111, and an absolutely otherworldly bad score of 120-107. BLH scored the fight 115-113 for Warrington, which is the same card that Sky's Glenn McCrory had. To say that Amagasa (30-6-2, 20 KO) won zero rounds of this fight is truly absurd. There were several rounds he won, and quite clearly so.
BLH had the fight 115-113 for Warrington, so it's not a disagreement of winner, just in the way the fight was scored.
Warrington started hot in this fight, but Amagasa did find some rhythm in the middle rounds, using his longer reach and awkward style, with long, looping punches, to negate some of the pressure Warrington started with. To Warrington's credit, he dug down deep in the last few rounds and picked up a couple of key frames late, enough that when Amagasa won the 12th, he still deserved the win in the fight. It was a solid action fight with a few minor lulls, certainly watchable, with a crowd that was very hot whenever Warrington was in control, but did get quiet when he wasn't, which also made some of the rounds seem fairly obvious to score, but this is boxing, and you never know until the numbers are read.
Stuart Hall UD-12 Rodrigo Guerrero
There was some teeth-gnashing about the scores on social media (117-111 Hall across the board from the judges), but I'm not sure these scores were actually that bad. I had it 115-113 for Hall, but could conceivably have shaded two extra rounds his way, too. Just because they scored it 9-3 doesn't mean they think it was a blowout. 9-3 on paper is a blowout. But winning nine close rounds is, you know, the same score. And it was a competitive, gritty fight most of the night. This was nothing like the scoring for the main event, which was terrible. There were a good amount of rounds Amagasa clearly won in that fight.
I thought Hall (20-4-2, 7 KO) opened much sharper, taking the first three rounds on my card, but Guerrero (24-6-1, 16 KO) battled his way back into the fight with a sustained body attack and a willingness to stay in the trenches. Hall obliged that for a bit, but once he started finding distance again later in the fight, he picked up a couple of rounds that, for me, were crucial. I did give the last two to Guerrero, and he definitely won the 12th round, but it wasn't enough for me, and wasn't enough for the judges.
Hall is now the IBF mandatory challenger for Lee Haskins, which would be a rematch of a 2012 fight for the then-vacant European title, which Haskins won pretty handily.
Martin J. Ward UD-10 Ruddy Encarnacion
Ward (14-0-2, 7 KO) did everything but stop his opponent here, but Encarnacion (36-25-4, 18 KO) is a tough old veteran, so that wasn't a huge knock. Still, Ward, 24, looks like he's probably going to top out at domestic level. He was able to deal with Encarnacion pretty well, but didn't look special at any point. Just in control, which he was supposed to be, to be fair. It was a solid performance, though, and one he can build from. A clash of heads in the eighth did open a cut on Ward's forehead, but that's about as much punishment as he really took. Scores were 98-92, 99-91, and 100-91. BLH had it 100-90.